Shot-light on... Kirk Hudson

Shot-light on... Kirk Hudson

With his lightning pace down the wing and quick thinking in front of goal, Kirk Hudson is an important part of the plans here as Aldershot look for an impressive first season in League 2. I met up with Kirk following the recent clash with Brentford to find out more about one of Aldershot's rising stars.

Being an avid Arsenal fan, Kirk made the perfect start to his career when he was spotted during a Sunday League match in his hometown Southend at the young age of nine - a move that he relished and that made a massive impact on him. 'Thierry Henry and Ian Wright are my heroes. I'm a massive Arsenal fan.'

More clubs were to follow with moves to Ipswich and Celtic to bolster his confidence and playing ability. Hudson counts Celtic as an experience that was important to his development. 'Celtic was an experience - getting to train with Larsson, and McGeady' - who he still keeps in touch with.

However when ex-Shots manager Terry Brown gave Kirk a call in 2006 to offer him a place at Aldershot, Kirk was attracted to the club and instantly said yes. For various reasons, Kirk was then put out on-loan to Ashford FC where he spent three months playing matches and ensuring that his ability wasn't going to be forgotten. It wasn't and Kirk quickly found himself back with the Shots later that year. One thing that can be said for Kirk is his confidence - something he always relied on during this period. 'I believed in my own ability to find a club so I wasn't worried.'

Once settled back in the squad and with a new manager in the shape of Gary Waddock, Kirk began his assault on the Conference, being named Young Player of the Season 2007/2008 for the Blue Square Premier League. 'I was buzzing when I got that last year', the winger said, 'I did well, the team did well and hopefully I can do it again!'

This season has certainly started brightly for Kirk opening his account with two goals against Gillingham and Macclesfield showing he is battling hard for a place in the starting 11. Not that he underestimates the importance of the squad, '...it's a team game really and last week I scored (vs. Macclesfield); this week I'm on the bench (vs. Brentford) but that's how it goes with football.'

Nurturing a young player to become a great player involves all at the club, including the gaffer himself and his assistant Martin Kuhl as well as players on the pitch - people that Kirk has great respect for,and of course the faithful fans.

'I like to play in front of the fans - especially scoring down that end!'

On the training ground, it's Martin Kuhl that makes an impact on Kirk's development - 'He rants and raves at me in training. He wants to get the best out of me; he knows my ability'. He continues, 'he does growl quite a bit but that's just how he is.'

And after ninety minutes, it's player-coach Ricky Newman who plays his part - 'It helps so much' [Ricky's post-match talks]. 'It's really good to work with him - tells you what you're doing wrong and also when you are doing something right.'

So with an ambitious club, a team spirit that most teams would die for and plenty of individual flair, Kirk Hudson can certainly look forward to another entertaining season with the Shots.